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Digestive System Disorders

Digestive System Disorders

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This lesson will investigate the causes and affects of various digestive system disorders.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on digestive disorders and health. Today you are going to be learning about various disorders of the digestive system. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Gastroesophageal Reflux
  2. Hepatitis
  3. Cirrhosis
  4. Crohn’s Disease
  5. Colorectal Cancer
  6. Lactose Intolerance
  7. Cystic Fibrosis
  8. Diarrhea & Constipation

1. Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux, also commonly known as heartburn or acid reflux, is a disorder that affects the upper digestive tract. This disorder occurs when chyme regurgitates into the esophagus because the sphincter doesn't properly close. This is what causes that heartburn sensation though it doesn't actually have anything to do with your heart.

Term to Know

    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
    • A disorder in which chyme backs up in the esophagus due to the lower esophageal sphincter not closing properly.

2. Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a disorder that affects the liver; basically hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by viruses, which are transmitted by body fluids such as blood or semen. It can be caused by other factors, such as obesity, drugs, environmental toxins.

There are a few different types of hepatitis that have differing causes: hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Fortunately there are vaccines against these types of hepatitis.

Term to Know

    • Hepatitis
    • A disease that causes inflammation of the liver and can lead to malfunctioning of the liver if left untreated.

3. Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is another disorder that affects the liver, causing the liver to become inflamed. This is typically due to heavy alcohol consumption over a person's life. What happens is heavy alcohol consumption will damage liver cells, and then those damaged liver cells are replaced by connective tissue.

Term to Know

    • Cirrhosis
    • Scar tissue on the liver most often due to heavy alcohol consumption over time.

4. Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammation disorder that affects the small intestine, as well as other parts of the body. Crohn's disease is not curable, but it is treatable. it is an inflammation disorder that can have an effect on the colon. Sometimes this will become so bad that a part of the intestine might have to be removed in order to help treat the disease.

Term to Know

    • Crohn's Disease
    • A disorder in which the intestine and other organs become inflamed. As a result a portion of the intestine may have to be removed.

5. Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectum. This is a fairly common type of cancer, but fortunately it can be detected by something called a colonoscopy. This is where a little camera is inserted into the colon in order to search for polyps, which are these growths that can be found on the colon wall, and are a warning sign of possible colorectal cancer.

Did You Know

This is actually responsible for about 20% of all cancer deaths yearly in the United States.

Term to Know

    • Colorectal Cancer
    • Cancer of the colon or rectum.

6. Lactose Intolerance

In lactose intolerance, the enzyme lactase is deficient. Lactase is an enzyme that allows for the absorption of lactose. Lactose is found in dairy products such as cheese, milk, ice cream, et cetera. Without this lactase enzyme they cannot properly digest and absorb lactose which causes intestinal complications.

Term to Know

    • Lactose Intolerance
    • A disorder in which the lactase enzyme is deficient so lactose cannot be digested and absorbed properly.

7. Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition in which the pancreas doesn't provide enzymes for normal digestion and absorption of fats. This disorder is a genetic condition and it also affects the respiratory system. A person with cystic fibrosis can't normally digests fats because the pancreas isn't producing the enzymes necessary for their digestion and hinders its absorption.

Term to Know

    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • A genetic disorder in which the pancreas doesn't produce enzymes necessary to digest and absorb fats.

8. Diarrhea & Constipation

The last two disorders are diarrhea and constipation which means water not being properly absorbed. Either too much water is absorbed, or not enough water is absorbed, leading to one of these two conditions.

Diarrhea is when an irritant (such as bacteria, stress, infection) will cause the small intestine to secrete more water than the large intestine can absorb. This will result in diarrhea because the feces are mixed with an excess amount of water. This is something that can be frightening for children because if too much water is excreted from the body, it can lead to dehydration.

Constipation is the opposite of diarrhea and occurs when feces remains in the rectum for too long causing too much water absorption. Then feces becomes very hard and compressed, and difficult to pass.

Summary

This lesson has been an overview on various digestive disorders and health. Specifically, you learned about gastroesophageal reflux, hepatitis, cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer, lactose intolerance, cystic fibrosis, as well as diarrhea and constipation.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND​

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Hepatitis

    A disease that causes inflammation of the liver and can lead to malfunctioning of the liver if left untreated.

  • Cirrhosis

    Scar tissue on the liver most oftenly due to heavy alcohol consumption over time.

  • Crohn's Disease

    A disorder in which the intestine and other organs become inflamed. As a result a portion of the intestine may have to be removed.

  • Colorectal Cancer

    Cancer of the colon or rectum.

  • Lactose Intolerance

    A disorder in which the lactase enzyme is deficient so lactose cannot be digested and absorbed properly.

  • Cystic Fibrosis

    A genetic disorder in which the pancreas doesn't produce enzymes necessary to digest and absorb fats.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

    A disorder in which chyme backs up in the esophagus due to the lower esophageal sphincter not closing properly.